I don’t know if it’ll happen, but it’s a fun idea of us bringing health services to comics.
My dad’s a physician, my mom’s a licensed family therapist, and my sister’s a physician as well—but she also is now a life coach/shaman.
You feel that others are judging you for your mental illness, and so you are scared to face the world. An Australian survey reported that two-thirds of people affected by a mental illness feel lonely “often” or “all of the time”.
The DJ says, “Apparently this woman, she’s supposed to be funny. Uh, frankly, I just think she’s schizophrenic.” I tell him that schizophrenia is hearing voices, not doing voices, and then get into this long diatribe about how it takes tenacity and courage to create something. You know, Patch Adams has this great work-group camp where you can learn how to really celebrate life.” It’s something people are so powerless over, and so often they want to make it your fault. I started thinking of suicide when I was 10 years old—I can’t believe that that’s somebody’s fault. You go to chemotherapy you get it taken care of, am I right? Not ‘get your freedom’ funny, but…” But at least I can try to change it for myself.
“Hey, coward, if you sing out your Batman poetry to a largely hostile Barnes & Noble crowd; or if you crank out a raw, unedited skull of a granny smith apple, pop that on a Bratz doll torso, upload that to Etsy; if you think of doing a nude clown opera, and then fucking do it? It shows the symptoms of being hard-working—and a huge, American success.” Bamford: Yeah. It was a Howard Stern-type show, and it was 7 a.m., and the guy was a lot older than me. ” I had a breakdown, and a spiritual friend came to visit me in the psych ward. Like, “Oh, you’re just an attention getter.” Mental illness isn’t seen as an illness, it’s seen as a choice. You get back to work.” Or: “I was dating this chick, and three months in, she tells me that she wears glasses, and she’s been wearing contact lenses all this time. I was like, listen, I’m not into all that Western medicine shit. Because I feel super insecure and embarassed and ashamed about mental health issues. There’s sort of a hostility even, where you go, “I’m just gonna say what I am and then see if you can’t handle it.” And I think it’s more talked about now.
But I didn’t enjoy it that much, so I was grateful when I went to LA and there were two other violin comics. There’s so much misunderstanding and ignorance about mental illness, so it strikes me as a really difficult topic to handle in a thoughtful way that still makes people laugh. And then people who suffer from mental illness feel ashamed, making it even harder for them to talk about it with other people—where if you had a “regular” illness, people would speak much more openly about it. But at the same time, I remember this joke Dwayne Kennedy told about how comedy doesn’t change anything.
Bamford: Hopefully I’m going to do a new album soon, and there’s a bit about being on a radio show. He talked about how during slavery, slaves would have to tell jokes to their masters, and the master would say, “Rastus, that’s funny!
I remember playing video games, I remember playing on the lawn, I remember how he screamed when he broke his arm, I remember how thrilled he was when he got a remote-controlled car for Christmas, and I remember the way he used to twirl his hair around his finger so it was always in knots. And now he is an abusive, destructive force that no one can stand to be around lest they get pulled into convincing delusions and psychoses or have to fear his violent rage.
Being in the same room with him is like being hit repeatedly with a hard, blunt abject. But families may be unwilling to interact with their mentally ill family member.Social isolation is also sometimes due to the unwillingness of others to befriend the mentally ill. The stigma associated with mental illness creates huge barriers to socialization.Their behavior is destroying our family/relationship. Like many of us I’m related to a lot of mentally ill people. Stop arranging the desk chairs and get on a damn lifeboat. There are at least a couple of bipolars and likely a schizophrenic or two hiding in the wings. People who won’t get treatment and continue to hurt you are the Titanic. They say they would rather be in jail than be on medication for their mental illness. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to a person with a mental illness. This mental illness reality is unbearably painful as it will shortly result in his having nowhere to live. I’m not mean, uncaring, inflexible, unhelpful or cruel.